Friday, June 13, 2008

A Few Items to Add to Your Preparedness To-do List

Has the onslaught of severe storms affecting many parts of the world lately made you think twice? What has the Doplar Weather Radar been predicting for your neighborhood? Perhaps you have recently been prepared to get through a short-term emergency but have already had to use most of the supplies that you had on hand. Are you breathing a sigh of relief because you made it through … this one? Don’t allow complacency or careless forgetfulness to deter your consistent action plans.

This year Mother Nature is not alone as she lurks around the corner waiting for us to relax. Her companions are the twins “Les Power” and “Les Fuel”.

One of the most important priorities on your preparedness to-do list should be to obtain or replace those items necessary to get you through the next power outage or problem. That means food and non-food alike. The colder and more intense the storms, the longer power outages and problems are likely to last.

Cold, wet, and water are the major weather factors this time of year. Make sure the gaskets, wicks, adapters, etc., that you are relying on to keep equipment functioning, are where you think they are. Even if wet and water are not invading your area yet, the heavy spring and summer storms are not that far away. In fact, as you well know from the latest news reports, some areas are already inundated. Before you hear the thunder, locate and pull together in one easily accessible place, all of the small but essential parts that allow the larger pieces of equipment to function.

If you are relying on battery-powered equipment and have had to use it this season, the power capacity in the batteries may already be greatly decreased. Obtain and keep on hand a sufficient number of the various sizes of the required batteries so that the equipment will work for an extended length of time each time you need to use it. A rule of thumb is that if you change some of the batteries in a piece of equipment you should change all. (Have you checked to see how many batteries each lantern or light uses at one time?) If you have had batteries in storage for a long time be sure to check the strength or power left in them – before you need them.

If you need to replace batteries or flash lights, remember to do your homework and check out the newest LED light flashlights. They burn brighter and longer than regular flashlights and are relatively inexpensive. (Check out Our Little Store)

Remember, don’t store batteries in the freezer, as some rumors have suggested. Freezing will cause them to expand and crack the seal or seams. Caution – battery acid burns.

With more and more power outages on the horizon evaluate how many games, radios, CD players and other items in your household are dependent on batteries. Divide them into categories of priority use in an emergency. Do you keep the emergency supply separate and restricted from those used for entertainment? If not, the supply you thought you could rely on might have dwindled significantly. A suggestion might be to put emergency batteries in a box labeled cough syrup or diarrhea medicine or danger – “ant poison,” and then put the box on a top closet shelf.

You of course know that the same procedure is followed for the emergency supply of comfort M&M’s and Snickers, only you add a mouse trap… or at least label it “mouse traps.” No, you just think you read that in my blog.

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